Fashion and event photographer from New Jersey, USA.
William Perez is from a small town in New Jersey called Merchantville. Only 30 kids in his 8th grade graduating class, that's how small the town was. Thankfully he was close enough to Philadelphia and New York that his dad would take him to visit the big cities all the time.
William is a fashion and event photographer. He does portfolio building, shooting tests for models and agencies, meanwhile working on his editorial work. William also covers New York Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week which he says is a dream come true.
We are now far into the quarantine due to the Covid-19 virus, and you are based in New York City which has been hit extremely hard by the pandemic.
What have you been doing to stay productive?
Thankfully, I still live in New Jersey but all of my work is in New York so it’s been a nightmare for the creative world. I believe the best way to get through this is by staying busy. I’ve been exercising a tremendous amount and trying to eat healthy. I also am extremely passionate about music so all of this free time has been great for me to have a few hours with my guitar and jam out even though my neighbors hate it lol. Reading books is another way I stay inspired and gives me new ideas for shoots.
Have you been able to continue creating? Or found any alternative ways to create?
I have but not at the same level. Something I saw over Instagram which was really inspiring was the FaceTime photoshoots. Although nothing compares to your own camera or that personal connection that face to face time gives, it's a nice alternative and great way to keep busy.
Did you go to school to study your craft? Are you self taught?
I was completely self taught before I attended one semester for Black and White film photography which was incredibly helpful. It was great to learn some more technical aspects of how photography works. Although I do believe photography does not require a formal education just a lot of passion.
What got you into fashion photography?
I fell into fashion photography it was never my full objective until I attended a show through a friend who was modeling and the rest is history. I fell in love with the atmosphere at the shows and managed to keep going until I was hired by a team. 6 seasons later and I’ve been able to attend some incredible shows and meet phenomenal people within the industry. I’ve also made some of my closest friends thanks to photography and I am looking forward to the future.
Do you feel as though you've had your break-through moment?
No I wouldn’t say so. I think I’ve solidified myself as a professional photographer but a breakthrough moment would be landing a major campaign or major editorial. I do feel like I’ve hit some major milestones and worked with amazing people. I am really grateful for those moments and people.
What was your typical work routine before the quarantine? Strict schedule or very go-with-the-flow?
I am totally a go with the flow guy but completely surrounded by the idea of working. I always have general direction and plan for the week around my scheduled shoots or events. Besides that, I’ll go where the wind takes me!
Where do you find inspiration?
The 3 main places I find inspiration is film, music, and the great photographers before me. I can be watching a movie and see a shot that was composed a specific way and I want to recreate it. Music is probably where I pull most of my inspiration from. I am listening to music almost the entire day and ideas will pop in my head as I’m listening. Some of my best shoots have been expired by the music I listen to. Although I am developing my own style I love testing methods from the greats. Peter Lindbergh for example is probably my favorite photographer and he inspires a lot of my work.
Do you have any long term goals with your career?
I would love to be the house photographer for a few brands and eventually take my photography passion to the journalism world. National Geographic or Vice would be a dream so that is currently my long term goal is to eventually transition into that career path.
As a freelance artist, is it a priority to you to spend time working on your branding as a business, i.e. website, social media, digital portfolio?
Yes absolutely. In today’s digital climate with so many tools at our disposal it is completely counterproductive to not take advantage of them. My website is probably what I struggle with the most because I am so judgmental with my own work. It is something I have to work on. Social media is great and basically is a digital portfolio and a great way to connect with other artists.
In this digital age, do you create your work with the intentions of keeping it exclusive for galleries or do you create more for publishing on social media and gaining a fanbase?
Great question because it isn’t something I originally thought about. Currently my work is to build my brand and building my portfolio so I can eventually get to the point where I am landing campaigns and putting my work in galleries.
How do you think art and the industry can help the world in times of crisis like we are in now?
Art is how we currently are getting through this unfortunate time. Movies, pictures, books are all art mediums and they keep us going and give us something to look forward to when this is all over. To me, art is the escape from this and we will adapt and come up with new ways to create and inspire each other. The industry has a lot of influence and they are capable of changing the perception and ideas of so many people. Who knows maybe after this is all over it will be like another renaissance period and all the artists that have been quarantined will release incredible art for all of us to experience.